Restricted by the provisions of adaptation policies and the debate over etiquette, Jesuits have an obvious tendency to introduce China to Europe, which is prominent and hidden.
What is the specific expression in the image of ancient Chinese history, one of the important components of the image of China? Jesuits are committed to introducing China’s ancient history to Europeans, in the final analysis, in order to demonstrate to the European side the rationality of carrying out knowledge missionary and cultural adaptation policies in China.
In order to gain the recognition of this policy from the European public and religious donors, Jesuits need to strive to raise the level of Chinese civilization and describe the ancient religion of the Chinese people as a pure monotheistic belief, which is still rooted in contemporary China.
Therefore, when the Jesuits noticed that the history of Chinese civilization was very old, they understood that this was a very persuasive argument.
In addition, according to the Bible, all the existing human beings were bred by Noah’s family after the great flood.
The Jesuits also want to know where Chinese history occupies in this world human history.
If we can explain that China, a country with a long history and a prosperous culture, is also in line with the description of the origin of human beings in the Bible, That is undoubtedly a strong evidence of the universality of biblical truth and the authenticity of biblical prophecy.
The main task of the following sections is to analyze the missionary ideological basis and Chinese literature basis of the Jesuits’ introduction of Chinese ancient history.
First, analyze the Chinese documents on which they describe Chinese ancient history, and then according to the position of these documents in Chinese academic history and whether these documents comply with the original Confucian principle of the Jesuits, To judge their reasons for choosing documents or specific contents in documents, indicating that they are actually deeply dominated by the needs of protecting religion, which leads to the distortion of China’s historical image.
Such a distorted image of China is the basis for Europeans to understand China.
Europeans see something that excites them or puzzles them from the chronicles of ancient Chinese history described by Jesuits.
In the first section, Ponty, the main work of Jesuits, suggested in a report published in 1605 that Chinese scholars have always believed that they have a long history and claim that the Chinese Empire originated a long time ago.
This is probably the earliest statement by missionaries about the origin of Chinese monarchy, because although Ricci found that silk weaving technology existed in 2636 BC in China’s Chronicle, he did not make any comment.
Zeng Dezhao made a clear comment on this issue for the first time in the annals of Greater China published in 1642.
He said that the Chinese people initially ruled by families, just like the ancient patriarchal society contained in the Bible.
The second is monarchy, but I don’t know when it began, and there is no clear record of its origin.
The period of Emperor Yao was the beginning of a credible era in Chinese history books, but the Chinese made an obvious mistake in the chronology.
Even according to the most favorable calculation, they made Yao’s appearance 12 years earlier than Noah’s flood.
However, although the calculation of the historical era of Yao and his successor emperors is wrong, it is certain that the relevant historical facts are consistent with their lineage.
Although Zeng Dezhao’s introduction is simple, it has indicated the position that his successors will adhere to: 1) the antiquity and authenticity of Chinese history should not be questioned.
2) Of course, the origin time of the Chinese Empire should conform to the biblical description of the origin of mankind, that is, the Chinese chronicle should not conflict with the biblical Chronicle.
3) Chinese civilization and Christian civilization should have common and even consistent in the context of ancient history.
However, Zeng Dezhao has also revealed a controversial issue at this time, that is, whether the Chinese chronicle is consistent with the biblical chronicle.
Zeng Dezhao took it for granted that it was a Chinese calculation error, and his discussion was only a few, so it was not noticeable.
After Zeng Dezhao, Wei kuangguo wrote in 1655 and published the ancient history of China in 1658.
The introduction of this book began from Pangu and took the Fuxi period as the origin of the Chinese monarchy until the end of the Western Han Dynasty.
The book focuses on emperors, generals, political changes and surrounding relations.
It also talks about religion and philosophy, such as the in-depth development of various schools of thought, Confucianism and Taoism in the Qin and Han Dynasties.
The book not only describes China’s ancient history in significant length, but also affirms that China’s history has a long origin.
For the inconsistency between the chronicles of China and the West pointed out by Zeng Dezhao, he adopts a reconciliation method opposite to Zeng Dezhao.
He does not think that China’s records are wrong, but believes that the calculation of the total number of years in the world and the occurrence time of Noah flood commonly used in Europe is not desirable.
This book is not only the first work in the western world to describe the history of the Chinese dynasty in detail, but also the cause of an uproar in Europe.
Bai Yingli’s chronology of Chinese emperors was first published in Paris in 1686.
From Fuxi to 1683, it can be regarded as a continuation of Wei kuangguo’s works and a defense of Wei kuangguo’s view on the antiquity of Chinese history.
The complete annals of the Chinese Empire published by duhurd in 1735 is the third book systematically introducing Chinese history.
It covers nearly 10% of the book (more than 200 pages) about the history of Chinese dynasties from ancient times to 1732.
As a compilation, the complete annals of the Chinese Empire combines the public or unpublished works of 27 Jesuits in China from the 17th to 18th centuries, and the parts related to Chinese history should also have such an integrated nature.
At the same time, this book is the last Jesuit work detailing Chinese history published by the mid-18th century.
At a time when the dispute over etiquette is coming to an end and the fate of Jesuits has changed greatly, it is also a summary of Jesuits’ views on Chinese ancient history in recent 100 years.
In addition to the above three works, some Jesuit works affirm the long history of China in some chapters.
The more influential ones are an Wensi’s new chronicles of China and Li Ming’s new chronicles of the current situation of China.
The most direct way for Jesuits to prove that China has a long history is to determine the origin time of the Chinese Empire according to various time materials provided in Chinese documents.
A very common method is to list the civilization achievements of China in ancient times.
In addition, they also try to show the religious beliefs of Chinese ancestors to show that they had accepted the law of God.
The chapters of this part will focus on these three aspects based on the above works.
As for why they are so interested in the legendary period in Chinese history, and why they describe the emperors, virtuous kings and institutional culture of ancient Chinese society in great detail, we will see with the progress of the article.
Section II references of JesuitsThe important plan of this chapter is to judge the source of Jesuits’ narration of ancient Chinese history, but it is by no means easy.
The primary reason is that the missionaries are not as academic as they are now, “Neglecting to cite sources of information was an epidemic in European academia throughout the 17th century, and at least it was also influenced by any climate of intentional omission”.
The missionaries were indeed reluctant to specify the sources of information in their works.
At most, they talked about it in the preface and were not clear enough.
This habit or fashion is obviously still left in the 18th century.
In addition to listing the names of 27 Jesuits who provided information in the preface, duchard’s works do not explain the source of information.
In some places, it will be mentioned according to a colleague, but many places do not pay attention to it, and there is no explanation for the ancient history.
The sources of information that can be directly known are very limited.
In the preface, Wei kuangguo said that he used several Chinese chronologies.
Some western scholars who have paid attention to this issue speculated that he referred to the historical records, Shangshu and Tongjian compendium, and also absorbed the translation and research results of other Jesuits.
Others said that Wei kuangguo was mainly based on the spring and Autumn Annals Confucian classics such as the Analects of Confucius, historical records and official official history.
As for Bai Yingli, he revealed that the historical records is one of the main references, but some people speculate that he may not read the historical records himself, but indirectly refer to it through a Chinese scholar.
At the same time, Bai Yingli actually plays the role of editor, and his works are likely to be a compilation of Wei kuangguo and other Jesuit works.
Others pointed out in more detail that Bai Yingli’s chronology is mainly based on the book of history, historical records, Zizhi Tongjian and Tongjian compendium, and may also use some official historical books often used by Jesuits.
However, these Chinese documents can only explain the reference materials after the first year of the Republic, which can be extended to the Xia Dynasty at most.
These Jesuits’ works describe the deeds of emperors three generations ago in a very detailed and systematic way.
Zizhi Tongjian and Tongjian compendium are not as good as this, and the records of the five emperors and Shang Shu Yu Xia Shu are far from being covered.
The sporadic records in the four books are not enough to be the basis for their coherent narration.
Therefore, we have reason to believe that the “several Chinese chronologies” claimed by Wei kuangguo do not only include the spring and Autumn period, historical records or Tongjian compendium.
We also have reason to believe that Wei kuangguo, Bai Yingli and the Jesuits who provided data for duhede did not only refer to the classics and official history when studying Chinese history.
In view of the Jesuits’ refusal to report the source of materials, the only way to explore the origin of their narration of the deeds of emperors three generations ago is to determine what systematic records of the chronicles three generations ago can be used for reference, and what are more likely to be referred to, and infer their actual reference materials through content comparison.
It can be speculated that they should refer to ready-made chronicles rather than comb and textual research from Qun Jing and even prophecy books.
Although the missionaries knew Chinese, this work was too impractical for them.
Moreover, as long as there is a systematic chronicle of ancient times, they certainly will not give up easy and difficult.
Just as they like to write the history after the spring and Autumn period with the help of Tongjian works, they are not reading the Twenty-Four Histories.
In fact, the emergence of a large number of ancient books in the Ming and Qing Dynasties has provided a comprehensive understanding of the possibility of these three generations of history, which can be seen from the beginning of the Ming and Qing Dynasties.
Obviously, there is an upsurge of writing chronicles, of which the number of general chronicles is considerable.
“History of Song Dynasty · arts and culture annals” records the bibliography of books collected by the state treasury and includes the works of Song people.
It can be seen that there are few works of general history chronology before the Song Dynasty, and most of these books are works of Song people.
Therefore, it can be judged that the subject matter of general history chronology became popular in the Song Dynasty, which may be driven by Zizhi Tongjian, at least there are many “general almanacs”.
Of course, the 32 chronicles and other histories listed in the table below can’t judge whether they all contain the contents before three generations only from the title.
Now, combined with the bibliographic book and bibliographic summary of Siku Quanshu, we can select 9 works that exactly contain ancient contents and mark them in regular script in the table (regular script is also used in the column of Ming and Qing Dynasties to confirm the works containing ancient history), However, according to the summary of Siku, the compilation of emperors of previous dynasties is a “village school folk book” and “very simple”, which does not need to be considered.
The Song Dynasty is not only popular to write general history and chronology, but also determines the writing pattern of this kind of subject matter in later generations: on the one hand, in the Song Dynasty, the later books often refer to the first books, such as Tongjian waiji, which is the earliest, and the subsequent huangwangdaji, Lu history and Tongjian qianbian can not bypass it.
On the other hand, the yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties often use the works of the Song Dynasty as the blueprint, or adopt the content, or imitate the style, or continue to supplement and revise.
For example, Chahan’s compilation of imperial chronicles in the Yuan Dynasty is subject to Shao Yong’s Huangji Jingshi.
In the yuan and Ming Dynasties, Chen J wrote the sequel of Tongjian, which is called “sequel”, which is mainly to supplement Zizhi Tongjian and Tongjian compendium, and finally talk about the affairs of the Song Dynasty due to the shortcomings of the Five Dynasties.
However, he also specially made up a volume on the affairs from Pangu to Dihu, aiming at the lack of Tang Yao in Jin Luxiang’s previous edition.
Deng Yuanxi wrote a history of letters in the style of Zheng Qiao’s Tongzhi, and Xu Gao revised Jin Luxiang’s former edition of Zizhi Tongjian to form the current edition of Tongjian outline.
Nanxuan also has a current edition of Tongjian outline, which is a combination of Jin Luxiang’s former edition of Tongjian and Chen J’s external Chronicles of the former edition of Tongjian (i.e. the first volume of the sequel of Tongjian), Chen Shiyuan’s famine history and Guo Zhiqi’s ancient compilation are mostly based on Luo Mi’s history of the road.
Zhu Mou [Tuwei’s deep ancient records] are largely different from Liu Shu’s waiji, Hu Hong’s emperor’s great Ji, Luo Mi’s history of the road · pre Ji and Jin Luxiang’s former compilation of Tongjian.
People in the early Qing Dynasty also had this trend.
For example, Li Xuekong wrote the book of the history of the emperor.
The original intention was to revise it because Liu Shu’s waiji “the meaning category is not accurate, and the clue is difficult to be clear”.
The book picked up Luo Mi’s Theory of the history of the road “.
The selected song books are usually popular in the market, and their selection into the Siku Quan Shu also shows that they have been officially recognized in some way.
These two conditions make it possible for them to be selected as reference books by missionaries.
For example, Kangxi also approved Jin Luxiang’s pre compilation of Tongjian, which makes it more likely for Jesuits in the early Qing Dynasty to contact the book.
YuanMost of the works describing ancient history in, Ming and Qing Dynasties simply imitate the books of Song Dynasty, and the evaluation of later generations is not high, which can be seen from the synopsis of Siku, and they are generally rare books.
The missionaries could not see or refer to books without certain authority, because they paid great attention to finding the authoritative interpretation of the Chinese people to convince the Europeans.
However, in the books after the Song Dynasty, Chen J’s “Tongjian sequel” should be taken into account.
First, “since the” Tongjian compendium “, the author actually began with J, and then Wang Zongwen and Xue Yingxiang had a lingering nature and no talent and knowledge”, so the missionaries who wanted to write a general history of China in the Song Dynasty may have something to do with Chen J, Therefore, it is possible to contact the ancient part of the first volume of his book.
In the early Qing Dynasty, this book was also approved by the Emperor Kangxi, which made the court Jesuits of this period more qualified to know it.
Second, the former edition of Tongjian, approved by the Emperor Kangxi, has an additional volume recording the “external discipline” before Yao, which is not included in Jin Luxiang’s original book.
Although the synopsis of Siku does not mention the source of this “external discipline”, the content is very similar to the first volume of Chen J’s book.
In fact, a lot of comments and notes are added to Chen J’s original manuscript.
It seems that Kangxi followed nanxuan’s example and matched up his predecessors.
However, nanxuan is also a mixture of alloy Lu Xiang and Chen J.
is it possible for Kangxi to comment directly on nanxuan’s book? Because he can’t see nanxuan’s works, he doesn’t dare to make a rash decision, but from the summary of nanxuan’s works, he started from Fuxi and omitted the contents from Pangu to Fuxi in Chen J’s book.
Therefore, Kangxi is more likely to be inspired by nanxuan’s works, but he doesn’t take nanxuan’s book as the blueprint.
After the above analysis, we can preliminarily delimit a possible reference range, including 8 works of the Song Dynasty from “Ji Gu Lu” to “Tong Jian Qian Bian”, Chen J’s “Tong Jian Xu Bian” of the Yuan Dynasty, and “Tong Jian Qian Bian” approved by the Emperor Kangxi.
In addition, it should also include “bamboo Chronicle”, and “historical records” and “Shang Shu” should also be considered according to the situation.
As for the bamboo book chronicle, all the references in this book are the current bamboo book chronicle included in Siku Quanshu.
Although this book is a fake book in the yuan and Ming Dynasties, if the Jesuits want to quote the bamboo book chronicle, only this version can be followed.
The lost copies of Jizhong ancient texts did not appear until the late 18th century, and the current bamboo book chronicle was widely spread in the Ming Dynasty and early Qing Dynasty, The impact is also great.
Although Shiben and imperial century, the posthumous title of Huangfu in the Jin Dynasty, are early chronological works with high citation rate, they were lost after the Song Dynasty and were compiled only after the middle of the Qing Dynasty.
Therefore, it is impossible to become the direct reference object of Jesuits in the late Ming and early Qing dynasties.
However, it is not ruled out that they can be learned through such books as Taiping Yulan, so they will also be included in the list of comparison in the later text.
As for what books the Jesuits refer to, with the gradual analysis, we may be able to see some eyebrows.